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Greta Van Susteren

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Washington 16, Us 10, America 9, Sheila Jackson Lee 8, D.c. 4, Illinois 3, Lauren Sivan 2, Tracy 2, Sarah Palin 2, Glenn Beck 2, Griff Jenkins 2, Texas 2, California 2, U.s. 2, Greta 2, Palin 1, Douglas 1, Van Jones 1, Hannity 1, Jim Dement 1,
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  FOX News    Greta Van Susteren    News/Business. Journalist and  
   guests discuss current events. New. (CC)  

    November 26, 2009
    10:00 - 11:00pm EST  

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in fact, to rebuild. and that is all the time we have tonight. as always, thank you for watching this special edition of "hannity," and i hope you have a great night. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- . . fox news channel] captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- >> tonight, tea parties and town halls. in the summer and fall of 2009, as washington began the battle over health care, taxes, and government, something started happening across america. ordinary americans gathered at tea parties, saying, listen to us. [cheers and applause] >> i am here because i am glad to see these people come out on their own, without celebrities, getting them to tell the government to back down. >> you work for us.
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you work for us. >> we don't need the government to run health care. the government cannot run itself. greta: americans took their concerns and sometimes even their anger town halls. politicians were forced to look voters in the eye and listen to what they had to say. >> you work for us. we don't care what you say. >> i don't understand your mentality. what do you think you accomplish by yelling? what do you accomplish by yelling? >> three times your average wages and will double and triple and quadruple your premiums. greta: american spoke out and we were listening. you will go to tea parties and see the passion that town halls.
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you will hear from average citizens involved in the confrontations and controversies. you get a behind-the-scenes look at the tour of the tea party express. the express went from california to washington and on september 12, crowds marched on the u.s. capitol. no one person talked about the passion of the protesters more than glenn beck. these tea parties are certainly big in washington on saturday. what do you think of that? >> i think it does not matter if any newspaper published how many people were there. we had -- or was it? the university of illinois did a special account and looked at the photos and said, i think it was at 1.7 million people. it does not matter if they said there were three. the people wandering the halls of congress and the white house know exactly how many people were there. greta: what about the composition of the people, the demographics?
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what about the demographics? the age and background? what do you think about the type of people who were attending? >> i do not know. i really have not -- right there in the front, it looks like young people, old people. how were they described? geriatrics. i think they are americans. what is the difference what they look like? greta: there is no such thing as "a typically," but i thought of protesters years ago as hippies, anti-war. >> i see what you are saying. these people have never gotten off their couch for protested before. these people are wildly and comfortable doing this. however, i spoke to several of them earlier today on my radio program. they were all saying the same thing. i have never felt anything like
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it. it is something that people are feeling deep in their heart and connecting with others that feel like them. i think, a), it is a release of steam and tension. it is better to have these people connect like this than bottle it up and feel alone. they have never done it before. greta: what do they want? >> i think they want their voice to beavered. i think the white house could not handle it any worse than they already have. the first time they marched on april 15, the white house came out and said, these people, the president is not aware of it going on. how do you dismiss what some are saying is one of the largest collections of marchers ever in washington? how do you dismiss that? they are dismissing it along
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with the media as partisans. they are not. they want an end to corruption. they want people in washington to start listening to them. they want washington to slow down and read the bills and explain it. excuse me. you are saying you are making jobs with your stimulus package. we have not seen that by any stretch of the imagination. any job that you are building right now, when you are building polar bear exhibits at museums, that is not a lasting jobs. that is not one that will transform america. greta: in many ways, you are sort of the cable news poster child for these tea parties. fair enough? >> i guess it is fair to be able to say that on the fact that six months ago, i said we need to reconnect with our values. i laid out the 9/wolf project, and that is part of what this has come out of.
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greta: it is interesting how in april people wondered whether this was a grass-roots movement that would have life or whether it was a fluke. we see more people gathered in washington. is this -- is there going to be more of this? >> i have to tell you, i was not down in washington, but i heard from people who were there and they said the same thing. we are coming back. we are going to do more. they are more energized. anybody who thinks this will turn into a political party should be very cautious because these people have not latched on to either political party. they are much more independent. they have been burned. conservatives have been burned badly by republicans and anybody who thinks they will come in and say, i am just like you, and then they're going to do the same kind of politics, these people will back them into a corner so fast, their head will
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spin. greta: they want to be heard. they want congress to read the bills. are there other specific demands they really want? >> they want the spending to stop. everybody knows that we cannot continue this rate of spending. it does not make sense. it gets to the point of criminal. our children -- if i have heard this from one, i have heard it from a thousand people. we have got to stop the spending. i will pay the price. i don't care what it takes. i will live a hard life if my grandchildren will still have an america they can call home and recognize. stop the spending and putting it on the backs of our children. it makes no sense whatsoever. it is irresponsible and criminal. greta: is there some current politician who most identifies or is listening to the tea party protests? >> no.
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i think there are several that have been true to their own bell used for a while. jim dement is one of those guys. i think sarah palin. palin is, i think, attractive to some of the tea party-goers because the true tea parties- goers are the ones that say, forget your party. take the beam out of your eye before you look at the splinter in the other. that is what needs to happen. that is what sarah palin did that so many of the tea partyers find attractive. she took apart the republican party before she thought about democrats. she cleaned up the corruption. greta: next, for 16 days, the tea parties express went across the u.s. before landing in washington, d.c. griff jenkins was behind the
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scenes. you get the inside story. later, the video sent shock waves through the country during the summer. sheila jackson lee at a town hall on her cell phone as she is asked a question. was this the diss?
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greta: the tea parties express rumbled through the country. september 12, the final stop. washington, d.c. griff jenkins was behind the scenes. you chased this bus across country. >> i did. so much has been made about what happened this weekend, the
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culmination of the 30 cities in 15 states. there were three reporters on board. i was one of them. there was one from cnn and one from "the new york times." before i left -- before i talk about the lessons learned, saturday was the big event. it was promoted most by glenn beck. here is the culmination event. here's how it went down on saturday. >> thank you, thank you. [cheers and applause] >> there sneaking up on us a little bit at a time. a little bit with the health care. a little bit with taking care of banks, insurance companies, auto companies. a little here and there, we will lose our freedom. >> i'm a democrat. i was an obama delegate. i was an obama supporter. he is not doing the will of the
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people. i don't want to go there. [unintelligible] we are going to take back our country. >> this is america. this is what america is. the message these people are bringing here is the nominal and i want to be a part of it. i want to take back our country are for five others gave us and stop this nonsense. >> i am an ordinary american who decided enough is enough and we need to bite or constitution. we are the ones that put our elected officials into office and we can take them out. [cheers and applause] >> is it a combination or just a beginning? that is what the majority of people said.
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this is the beginning of something big. i think it was a great honor to go do this. it seems to become a native, but a lot is being said about what drives it and who is turning out. i think you have a little bit of everybody. greta: i'm curious about a few things. in my prior life as a lawyer, i used to represent protesters. i loved it when people were excited about freedom of speech. any protesters arrested at all? >> there was a lot made at the numbers that turned out. they do not give estimates of crowds. zero arrests on saturday. we saw protesters who supported the president and support of the health care initiative, which was a big catalyst. greta: the police in washington are so experienced and they are pretty flexible about protesters. if you're going to protest any
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place, washington is not a bad place. they have seen a lot of this. >> that is true. i tip my hat to them. there were no angry arrests. greta: can you give me a list of towns of where people were from? >> people came from across the country. one man came from australia. greta: what was he doing there? >> he was a transplant from indiana and he said he got caught up in the whole thing. the most fascinating and interesting thing of where this thing goes, and that is the question, where does it go, we found independents who said, i voted for president obama, and now i am upset. that continues, if that is the big part of this, the white house is going to have to pay attention, despite david axelrod saying it is not indicative. greta: the tea parties express
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finished its first tour in washington and another tea parties was happening thousands of miles away. the inside story is next. plus, at town hall outrage. california, texas, pennsylvania. we go to wall street. the voters who went head to head with members of congress go "on the record."
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greta: on september 12, the tea party express finished its first tour, stopping in washington, d.c., where a crowd marched on the capital. another t party was happening the same day halfway across the country in quincy, illinois. >> [unintelligible]
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has put a hardship on your families and is threatening your way of life. greta: the woman you heard speaking as from the nationwide tea parties coalition. she went "on the record." any sort of ball park figure how many people showed up at that tea parties? >> thanks for having me back. we think the estimate was about 3000, but overall, since it was an all-day event, it was more like a festival, we think about 12,000 people passed through. it was a huge turnout. greta: why that park and why quincy? >> quincy, illinois, is a little historic, first of all. we were speaking right where lincoln debated douglas. quincy is in the middle of the heartland. the organizers thought this, and we thought it was important to
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have mid-america represented. there were two facets of it. we had a fantastic march in washington, d.c., and we had the midwest represented in quincy. quincy is a great town and there is a huge groundswell. the quincy 912 papers were sponsored by media site that sprang up in defiance of the mainstream media. that is how grassroots these people are. it is a really good city and it was for mid america. greta: do you have any sort of sense of how the state coverages, whether the newspapers picked it up, whether the television -- how widespread? >> we had a little bit of coverage from some papers in the area. there was one other publication in quincy that gave us a little coverage on it. st. louis did not cover anything about it. i don't think a lot of -- i don't think any outlets in chicago did much about it.
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most of the coverage from quincy came from blogs and social networking. people were taking their own photos and updating themselves. greta: where does it go from here? >> you had one of your guests saying this is a new political movement, which it is. it is a good way -- so many people have been reawakened. now is a good time to force legislative change. we have already seen with the power of this movement can do. we have seen van jones. he is gone. acorn is being defunded. of getting debate on it. i think that is the neck step. people have been going to these protests who are now deciding that they think they will run for office themselves. we have ed martin jr. and someone else, who has been
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involved in this grass-roots effort from its conception. we have seen a lot come out of this movement and that is where it is heading. legislation and getting some real, actual, grass-roots candidates out of it appeared greta: next, it might be the biggest controversy from any town hall. congresswoman sheila jackson lee on her cell phone while a cancer survivor asked her question. the woman who asked the question and the congresswoman both "on the record."
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greta: a peaceful resolution. that is how john mccain describes what he thought of the town house. senator mccain and senator lindsey graham faced voters in south carolina. >> we want to fix health care. it is the cost, not the quality. we want to sit down anytime, anywhere with the president and the democrats and get this situation fixed. >> i am looking for balance. i'm looking for a way to get help and find a way so your generation does not have to pay the bills. >> where does the government the power to take over health care if not in the constitution? considering the welfare costs,
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it is not there. >> there's a conflict of interest when the number one objective for a -- when a for- profit health care business is profit as opposed to the care of the individual. >> [inaudible] >> sure. >> i want to ask you what you can do to make sure the constitution is being upheld. >> every six years, i run for reelection. every six years, he runs for reelection. if you don't like what we are doing, you can vote. greta: next, you meet three of those passionate voters. first, the small-business owner. she gave a congresswoman an earful at a town hall. >> i am a small business owner. i could use competition. [inaudible]
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i can only use six in california. if you open up the competition coming in my business, competition makes me better. greta: she went "on the record." you are all heated up. what got you all revved up that day? >> thank you for having me on. it was a long time coming and it was cathartic for me to have a microphone in my hand and say that i had had enough. when i started to speak, the crowd was excited. they like the direction my talk was going and they helped fuel it. they basically gave me the impetus to keep going. greta: did you get anything from your congressman that day your sense that made you feel like, ok, i think we connected? >> no, quite the opposite. i felt there was a lot of rhetoric. everybody said we have elected
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representatives in place that seem to think that they can just come out and give us lip service and we will all go back to work and we will quiet down. i don't think that is the case anymore. the sleeping giant has awoken. greta: you are a business person. what is the most important thing to you? what issue really strikes you the most? >> i think what strikes me the most is that i already feel the hand of tyranny as a business owner. i have so many requirements i have to me to stay in business and they come from all angles, all angles of government. what i see this administration doing is continuing to lay that on to us. they're continuing to build into the future. unfortunately, it does not give me incentives to get up and keep going every day. i feel like i am not alone. i have had people from all over
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the united states contact me and say, thank you for what you did. thank you for speaking my mind at the same time you spoke doors. those people are in the medical profession. they are firefighters, policeman, everyday people who are small business people that feel like they're old dream, there will believe in the system is crumbling before the rise and they have no control over it anymore. greta: another person went head- to-head with senator arlen specter. >> i don't believe this is just about health care. it is not about tarp. it is not about left and right. this is about the systematic dismantling of the country. i am only 35 years old. i have never been interested in politics. you have awakened a sleeping giant. we are tired of this. greta: she went "on the record." what has been your reaction in the community? favorable or unfavorable? >> completely favorable.
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1% or 2% are opposite. greta: in terms of the e-mails, all. it is it? is a thing, we don't like what you did, or is it more aggressive in terms of being critical of you? >> i would say it is a longer lines of the rules for radicals were they try to disarm you and call you names. i have been called an idiot, dumb, a poster child for the uneducated. you know what? i have read the constitution. i have read about our founders. the power does not lie with the federal government. it lies with the states and the local governments. it is ridiculous what people are saying about how those of us who are standing up finally reaching the giant is awake and now he is ticked off because of the baseball's that have been thrown at us. i am tired of it. you can see from the people who showed up in d.c. this weekend, i did not get to go, but i was
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there in spirit. i am so proud of everybody that came out and voiced concern. greta: how about senator specter? he has served your state for a long time. are you dissatisfied with him? >> yes, i am very dissatisfied with him. at that town hall meeting, he was so disingenuous, it was ridiculous. when i asked my question about him going back to washington and a pulled in the constitution committee said, i have been doing that. please. if you were upholding the constitution, you would only be defending our country and doing that on an international scale. you would not be dipping into the pockets of the american people and ramming programs down our throats. this is the second time this man has changed parties. do you know how many people are ticked off about that? greta: one of the most infamous incident happened in texas. sheila jackson lee caught on tape using her cell phone when she was asked a question.
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>> of congress allows you -- if congress allows you [unintelligible] >> seriously? really? greta: tracy miller asked sheila jackson lee that question. she told us about the incident. that video looked positively horrible. was there any innocent explanation by the congresswoman for what happened? did she talk to you later about it? >> i did talk to her later, but not about her using the phone. what appeared to be happening was her staff or handlers were telling her people that she needed to give a shout out to that were coming in to the town hall, local political leaders and such. greta: who was she talking to?
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did she pick up the phone in the middle of your question? if yes, do you know who she was talking to? >> she did pick up the phone in the middle of the question. i don't know who she was talking to. it seemed to be someone in the room because every time she would get on her phone, she would give a shout out to someone in the room, whether it be a judge or someone else. greta: did she apologize? >> no, she did not apologize. i thanked her afterward for keeping her town hall open to people that were not her constituents. another local person did not do the same. greta: did you get your question asked and answered at any time? >> no. my question was not directly answered. she basically made a remark about me having the cancer and that people like me would not be able to afford health insurance
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and this bill would help them. greta: during the time you were asking the question, it is hard to tell from the video, but were people yelling things out? were they saying things to you or the congresswoman? >> they were saying, she is not listening to you. they wanted her to get off her phone, telling her she was being rude. greta: did she continue to do that after questions? did she do that to others? >> she did do it to a few other people that ask questions during the course of the town hall. greta: was anybody unglued by this? it is one thing to do with one time by mistake and move on. did the crowd get rowdy? it is not getting nicer the more times you do it. >> it did not get more rowdy then what you heard there on the video clip. you know, people did make remarks whenever she would get
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on the phone because they thought it was rude. she told one lady that was sitting behind me, lady behind me told her she was being rude and she turned to her and said, i am not rude. greta: why did you go to this town hall meeting? >> i went to ask some questions that i had for the congresswoman and when i got there and saw her presentation, what she was doing, she said to dispel the myths about the health care bill, i changed my question to the one you just heard. greta: are you now more inclined to be in favor of the health care bill or less inclined to be in favor of it? >> nothing has changed. i am not in favor of it. greta: why? >> because i believe that no
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bureaucracy should be involved in health care decisions. i have decisions to make for my daughter when she had kidney problems over a year ago and i like that decision being between me and my doctor and not a bureaucracy. greta: will sheila jackson lee apologize? how did she explain herself? did she regrets using her cell phone? find out from the kong was woman herself. lisa is an everyday mother, never politically active in her life until the tea parties express rolled into town. maybe one of the most important...
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>> i am lauren sivan. an attorney for the couple that crashed tuesday's white house dinner says they did nothing wrong. the couple is being considered for a reality show. the couple film getting ready to go to the white house. security says it was a breach. they went through the same security screening as invited guests. retailers are getting ready for black friday. some folks getting in early shopping on thursday. stores are expecting to make 10% of total holiday sales over the weekend. walmart will keep their doors
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open all the way through the beginning of its 5:00 a.m. early bird special. i'm lauren sivan. we go back to "on the record" right here on fox. greta: you just heard one side of the story. now you hear the of the. it sent shockwaves through the country in the heart of the town hall-filled summer. congresswoman sheila jackson lee on the cell phone while a cancer survivor arrest her question. >> if your conscience allows you to turn any direction [unintelligible] [multiple people talking] >> seriously. greta: congresswoman sheila jackson lee went "on the record close "to defend herself. i want to challenge you to give
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me a short and quick answers. let me fire away. who were you talking to? >> let me correct that. it is not an obama hot line. i was listening and trying to hear from a hot line that was set up to help members get answers to questions about constituents. greta: was that a conversation with the person? or not? >> it is a hot line. there is a person on the end. do not ask me what the name was. we were engaging in that town hall meeting. my meetings are with friends and neighbors. we engage. i was not making a speech. i was walking up and down the aisles. by the way, i became an immediate good friend of ms. miller. i understand she was on your show.
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we stayed to the very end talking to her. greta: you already lost this challenge of short answers. let me try again. can you understand -- i know you can multitask. i know you have a million things going on, but can you understand why that seems profoundly rude? a woman is trying to ask a question and you are on the phone. she has a real question and it looks like you are dissing her. >> not profoundly road, but i can understand offensive. it was not meant to me. i hope tracy will come to my town hall meetings as i make my way through the month of august y can tell her, sorry. we can work through this and i hope i can convince her to support hr 3200. this will be so much better for people's lives.
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with the public option. that is what the message was. greta: i got that. here's the problem you have. senator reid referred to protesters as evil mongers. you have unamericans. you have you on the telephone like you do not care. people are asking you questions and you all look like you are dissing them. >> not a diss in my mouth. this has been an emotional time. should of been of the town hall last night when everyone was shouting, just say no. sheila jackson lee, i remain steadfast, ready to hear them, and trying to convince them. the same thing happened on tuesday. having a during the day so families like a family we are speaking of could come. i do not believe we dissed them, not when you have stayed as long as i have stayed. greta: i can never get you to
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answer quickly. >> we have a tough job. we have people emotionally charged. i understand. people are fearful we are trying to take something from them. i felt that last night. greta: here's the problem, congress woman. here's the problem. >> i was not dissing them. i do not think that is the case. you are kind enough to let me come on your show. you had the young lady on your show. i did not see it, but if she took any offense, come to my town hall meeting so i can say sorry to you so you know it was nothing intended. i really believe she would fit well for a robust public option. i would like to convince her that would be the case. greta: she might have felt -- she might have felt much better -- let me take a shot at this. let me explain something. one of the problems is you're not listening and that was the
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criticism. you're not listening, you were on the phone. >> i am listening. greta: you're saying you are calling a hot line. the way the american people, nobody is bothering to read the bill. why do you need to call a hotline? is it because the bill is incomprehensible? is it because the bill has not been read? are you listening to people? some are insulted. that is why people are upset. they are feeling like you are not paying any attention. they did boisterous towards you -- not towards you, but for other members. it is like you all know so much better and they are trying to ask questions. >> i am glad you asked the holistic question. i did read the bill. it is not being rude to try to get the section on the correct language. i consider myself well read.
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everyone knows it is good to go back and get the facts. let me speak for the other members, not for them, but we are out there. we may have comments about how we are being received or how volatile, but people are out there, whether they're republican or democrats, they are out there. we are doing what we're supposed to do and we are human. this was an informal town hall meeting, as i have done over the times i have served. greta: i will give you enormous credit. >> what i will say to you is, that is going to look strange. i have had people tell me -- greta: it looked really bad. it looked like you did not care. >> i was just trying to the audience. i was engaged. i was not ignoring. it would be like i was in the corner with my back to the audience on the phone. this is not the case of ignoring america.
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america, i am not ignoring you. but i will say to the special lady who i cared about and state and talked to come any offense taken, i did not intended. let me apologize to you. come to the town hall meeting again so we can talk because i truly believe a robust public option is what she needs. greta: let me get in one final word. i have got to go. i will say one thing. i think every member of congress does hold those town hall meetings, they are least appreciated because you are not all doing that. i think that is much appreciated. one tip, maybe i say, she could have a beer summit with you. it could smooth over some of the others because that seems to work. thank you and good luck. >> can i have some great jews or soda? how about that? i have three children. greta: i think that will work. >> thank you. come on out, tracy.
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greta: and every day mother goes to a tea party. meet a woman who said she never felt the need to jump in and do anything, but now is different. she goes "on the record" next. rush limbaugh tells you why he thinks activists are getting attacked.
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greta: people who go to tea parties have been criticized as right-wing extremists, fanatics, sometimes worse. what is the truth? lisa has never been politically active, but she went to a tea parties. if she is worried about her kids, her country, and her future. she went "on the record" during
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the second tour of the tea party express. have you ever been to one of these rallies before? is this your first one? >> this is my first one. i never thought i would be doing something like this. i am an ordinary american citizen. greta: did you have no enthusiasm for politics? >> i am busy, like we all are with our lives. we did not feel the need to jump in and do anything, but now it is different. >> you actually got dressed for it. how did you get dressed? >> that was just in fun. we reducing our grim reaper halloween costumes. we thought it might fit for the tea parties. it is a recession, so we are doing double duty now, making things stretch further. greta: how has the recession affected you? >> i got a pay cut, 10% pay cut.
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i did that willingly to help my company survive. i know a lot of other people have had pay cuts. we have to change our budget. we have to cut our budget to accommodate the recession. i think washington needs to do the same thing. greta: what was it like going to the tea parties rally? was it everything that you expected? >> it was. i thought the best and would be able to talk to people who are thinking the same way, that nobody i met was a right-wing terrorist or some of the other names we have been called, astroturf, everybody was very concerned. we see things that we do not like and it is causing a degree of concern and even fear. we have got to reassure each other. greta: it is interesting. you're someone who took a 10%
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pay cut. i do not know who a typical protester is, but you are just a working person who is speaking up, i guess, the way i would look at it. >> right. i am an all-american woman. i was raised to respect my government. daughter of an immigrant on one side, daughter of the american revolution on the other side. i have always been so pro- america. i don't criticize my government and i am finding myself doing that more and more as an ordinary american citizen. greta: we have been looking at this path the new express is taking. it has a 19-day journey zigzagging across the country. thank you for joining us. i hope you get that and% and back soon because that is a real difference out of your monthly pay. i hope you get that back. still ahead, your "last call." we turn down the light. rush limbaugh says the tea parties and town of activists
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are being mischaracterized.
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greta: flash the studio lights. "last copper "we have one less person weighing in on the tea parties and town halls. >> do you remember when inspiring people to the political process was a grand and glorious thing? that is what we were told the obama campaign was about. president obama was hailed as a candidate because people who had never cared about politics before were not interested. they wanted to unify the country. they wanted to get along. they were active. it was a sign of a healthy politics. it was wonderful because it was a democrat president doing it. it was double wonderful because he was an african-american
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candidate doing it. so many templates in the drive by media in the american left. people were at tea parties because of issues. there were young people there and there were people from all walks of life. they are terribly concerned about what they see going on in their country. since it was not anything to do positively with obama, it had to be impugned. the people had to be mis characterized and criticized and their reputations destroyed and so forth, they're very identity spirit greta: the lights are blinking and we are closing down shop. thank you for watching this special "on the record." don't forget to go to gretawire.com to blog. keep it right here, the fox news channel, the most powerful name in news. good night.